Tennis Prose



Who has more charisma than Nick Kyrgios?

Nick Kyrgios didn’t win today vs Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon but he showed more charisma on the court than anyone in a long time.

Kyrgios was inspired to the max and played super well but went down in four sets 46 63 67 67. Nick was fully engaged and focused and showed his tennis genius, reaching the level of pleasure to even showboat and do a couple of versions of an Ali shuffle.

He was unleashing winners and aces and successful underhand serves and also some first class volley winners.

It was vintage, maximum Kyrgios but it was not enough to slay Nadal. The Spaniard was just a little bit better today.

I think Kyrgios has the most charisma in pro tennis. Not the most political correctness or the best work ethic but the most charisma. This is a unique player who last night, visited a Wimbledon pub and hung out with friends amongst the public before the biggest match of his year.

This is a player who will banter with fans during, before and after a match, often times making unforgettably funny, witty comments.

I saw Nick joke to kids after a US Open practice that the first kid who mispronounces his name gets a prize. He liked a fan offer to take him to Hooters after a match in Delray Beach but then after missing a rocket forehand into the wall, jokingly rebuked the fan for getting him too excited.

Nick rocketed a rocket forehand at Nadal at net today, which Nadal managed to block with his Babolat. Later, Nick said he tried to hit him in the chest and refused to apologize. That’s tennis, if the opponent goes to net he’s a fair target.

Nick always has time for fans and kids and is surprisingly approachable at tournaments. You can even see him walking the grounds by himself, no security. He’s comfortable with the public and accessible.

I can’t think of any pro player who has more charisma than Kyrgios. He may not win as much as the experts expect and demand, but what the heck most players don’t.

Can you name a pro tennis player with more charisma?

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  • Dan Markowitz · July 5, 2019 at 5:30 am

    He’s a unique tennis player and person. I think he calls out the umpires like when the ump yesterday didn’t at least warn Rafa for stalling, Nick called him out and mocked him for “being so powerful” up in his chair. Tennis needs a player like Kyrgios who like McEnroe back in his prime, was so talented that he could play tennis and call out injustices. Difference between Mac and Kyrgios is seven slams, but also Nick is as you point out, more playful and fan-friendly.

  • Dan Markowitz · July 5, 2019 at 8:10 am

    what the heck happened to Opelka this morning against Raonic? How can Opelka lose the last two sets 2 and 1 with his serve? That is a screwy result.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 5, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Letdown after exhausting career best win.

  • Dan Markowitz · July 5, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Losing 2 and 1 on grass with Opelka’s serve isn’t a letdown its a collapse. If I were Opelka I’d stop fritzing around with Jay Berger as my coach and hire a guru, a Gilbert or Stefanki or maybe even Fish. I mean Berger didn’t work out real well with Sock either.

  • Hartt · July 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

    As a Milos fan I watched that match closely. The first set went to a TB that Milos won 7-1. After that Opelka’s level dropped dramatically. My commies, who saw most of the match from Opelka’s point of view (it was as though Milos wasn’t even on the court), had to admit at the end that Milos played much better than Reilly: “Outclassed him both physically and mentally.”
    Their serves generally balanced out, where Milos was so much better was from the baseline.

    Milos is a very skilled player on grass, with good results over the last few years, so he should have been the definite favourite going into this match, based on his experience if nothing else.

    People make a big fuss about Nick beating Rafa a few years ago at Wimby, but Milos beat Nick in the next round, and had also won against him in the preceding RG.

    As far as Nick as a charismatic player, I would rather watch someone play well rather than a guy with a lot of antics. When Kyrgios does play well I enjoy watching him, but I don’t think is is a truly great player. That demands at least some consistency, and Nick is now No.45 in the live rankings. If he goes out of the top 50 he won’t even be all that relevant.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Maybe Berger is paying Opelka to be his coach. Like Serena/Patrick allegedly.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 5, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Nick shows flashes of being a great player, or even the world’s best player. But he also shows flashes of self destruction and waste of talent. He’s also a pretty nice guy with a good rapport with fans and media.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 5, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Wozniacki out, no more Schiavone, no mention of arthritis in press conference. Shuai Zhang moves on. Pliskova edges Hsieh, another valiant battle by Hsieh but she loses the majority of these three setters to top 10 players. Still it’s amazing she plays them so close.

  • catherine · July 5, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Scoop – why do you keep saying that no one’s mentioned Caroline’s arthritis ? Maybe no one asked her about it.
    Woz did have a moan over Hawkeye decisions and that was the most interesting thing about this match.

    Hsieh is always very nice at the net. Never seen her not smiling. She is entered in the mixed with her brother (I presume).



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